The accused named Jared Paul Stanga was caught hours after the incident that was reported from West Pensacola, Florida
Trigger Warning: The story has details and a video of an abduction attempt that some readers may find disturbing
An 11-year-old girl waiting for her school bus alone was nearly kidnapped by a man in Florida. A video taken from surveillance cameras and released by cops showed the moment this happened. His white vehicle slowly pulls up on the side of the road while the girl appears to be sitting on the ground and playing with something. The man is seen getting down from the car and hurriedly makes his way towards the girl. He then picks the girl up with one hand and but the victim struggles and falls down from his grip. He gives up and runs back to his car and zooms off. The incident was reported from West Pensacola on Tuesday morning, according to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. Since being released by the police, the clip has gone viral. The police later said the girl fought with everything she had even when the man had a knife with him.
Cops later tracked down the suspect's white Dodge Journey and caught its owner, 30-year-old Jared Paul Stanga. He was charged with the attempted kidnapping of a child under 13, aggravated assault, and battery. A Facebook post of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office mentioned the incident took place at around 7 a.m. on the day. "She was able to fight and break free from the suspect's grip. She is safe and with family," it stated. According to ABC7, Sheriff Chip Simmons, said during a press conference, "Luckily, she fights. When I say fights, she struggles. She went limp, she's kicking, she's pushing, she's punching. And she's able to get free." He added, Stanga had interacted with the minor some weeks ago and had made her uncomfortable. Simmons said he stopped and tried to spoke to her in Spanish when she was at the bus stop.
She reported the matter to the school authorities and her mother had accompanied her to the bus stop every day since the encounter. On the day of the incident, her mother was not there with the girl. The accused's vehicle was tracked from the video and later traced to a home on Betty Road. He was arrested without incident. The Sheriff's office also sent out appeals to the public to help them trace the car. Stanga has a long history of crimes, some of which are sexual offenses and against minors reports the Pensacola News Journal. The deputies are trying to find out with the help of other agencies if any other incidents occurred before the one caught on camera. As many as 50 officers were involved in finding the accused. Simmons lauded the work of his officers to nab Stanga who he called an "animal" and a danger to the community.
"I cannot help to think that this could have ended very different had this 11-year-old victim not thought to fight, and to fight, and to just never give up. This could have ended terribly. Why else do you think that this man stopped his van and tried to pick her up and take her into that van? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what his intentions were, they were not good,” Simmons said. When she was waiting for her bus, Simmons said the girl was playing with slime. Stanga was seen in other surveillance footage shopping at convenience stores and other areas in town after the incident with the slime on his arms. Simmons said the girl and her family are “working through this,” while adding the little girl was his “hero” for fighting as hard as she did.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office is looking for an attempted kidnapper who tried to snatch a girl at her bus stop in West Pensacola Tuesday morning. https://t.co/FvI3fr4Q4x— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) May 19, 2021
People lauded the quick action of the cops while praising the girl's heroics. Tammi Lynn commented on Facebook: Great work ECSD!! So thankful this girl fought this nasty individual off!! I will be showing this video to my 12 year old. Kids need to see how real this is, how fast it can happen, and how to fight back! This young lady is a hero, and if shared with other kids, she will save many other little ones. Leanne Cardenas added: Amazing job to the officers involved! Thank you for your hard work. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep knowing he was out there. You are amazing!